The Osprey Family’s nestoration project has now entered its 3rd week. Despite the extremely windy conditions in the last few days, the osprey couple has continued to work without a break to get their nest ready on time.
Most other birds hunkered down taking shelter from the wind as you can see in this gallery. It was so windy that keeping myself standing steadily enough to shoot acceptable pictures was challenging.
On Saturday when I decided to dare the winds, I found Mama Sandy balancing on the edge of the nest facing the wind. She was calling on Papa Stanley to bring her fish…but he was busy. Eating on a dead palm trunk nearby.
He heard her calls and looked in her direction, but I couldn’t stand the wind long enough to see how much of the fish Mama would get. It looked like a lunch for two, and I assumed he would share.
Yesterday I found the nest empty when I arrived, but just a minute or two later Mama Osprey zoomed in with a huge swath of soft nursery materials flying in the strong wind.
It was clear to me she was eager to get the materials secured in place and was calling for Papa to help. In a very determined manner. But where was Papa Stanley?
You guessed it. I found him on “his” palm trunk eating fish. Mama’s crop was fairly full, so she had already gotten an early lunch. Now it was his lunch hour.
He looked at me, then continued eating. I walked back to the nest and saw Mama Sandy had started to prepare the nursery on her own.
Then last night, just before sunset when the winds were at their strongest, I went out on our terrace to check on them. I saw them huddling together in the nest. Looking at each other. Love birds.
The wind had finally calmed down this morning, and I took a longer walk in the salt marsh and around the park at lunch time. Birds were out and about everywhere, and I found Mama Sandy alone in the nest. She had not finished her lunch, but it looked like all the nursery materials had been put in place.
Just when I was taking pictures of her, Papa Stanley flew into the nest. Only for a second or two. I guess to show her his lunch catch. He flew away in the direction of “his” palm trunk nearby.
So I walked over there expecting to find him. But found something completely different.
A Nanday Parakeet had reserved Papa’s perch for herself! I have never seen this pet bird in the wild before, but apparently there is a sizeable feral population here in our area.
So where did Papa Stanley go with his fish? Mama helped me in that regard. She called and he answered. So finally I found him just beyond the park’s border on a lamp-post. He had almost finished his fish.
That’s when Mama Sandy sounded a long alarm call! Even I knew what that meant: another osprey was approaching the nest. Papa Stanley didn’t waste a second, he flew to the nest with such speed I couldn’t even snap a picture. That’s love. I jogged back to the salt marsh. Getting good exercise with these guys 🙂
The osprey flying above the nest was Steve, normally friends with both Mama and Papa. But it all changes when they start nesting, so now he was a threat.
When I arrived Papa Stanley was already there, and both of them were scanning the skies together.
When everything calmed down, Mama Sandy finished her lunch while Papa Stanley stayed there protecting her. That’s when I decided it was a good time to go home.
Hope you enjoyed the adventures of our couple. Reporting from the salt marsh, Tiny